• Kate Armon

Words for a Dad's funeral

Like so many little girls around the world I thought my Dad was the best Dad in the world. As an adult not much has changed really. He is kind, patient, generous beyond measure, loving and supportive. I can talk to him about almost anything. I love talking to him about my work as a celebrant, he is always interested and I appreciate his wisdom and life experience. The other day over a cup of tea round our kitchen table I mentioned to him that I had found the perfect reading for his funeral. Of course being the man my Dad is he asked me to read it to him, I instantly regretted telling him thinking there was no way I could read it out loud to him without crying through it. Despite this I took a deep breath and started to read. It’s called ‘There’s a Handyman in Heaven’ I haven’t been able to find the author.

So there’s a handy man in heaven now, Who built his life on dreams. No tasks, no chores, no obstacles. But loved the challenge of extremes A caring, honest provider That unselfishly gave his all, A heart of gold and hands of steel That responded to the call. A Husband, a Dad, a Granddad too, That would help you to the end. A reliable person of integrity That all wanted and enjoyed as a friend. There’s a handy man in Heaven now Who’s fixing Heaven’s gate, Oiling the hinges with pride and care, So that they will open for all who wait.

As I finished reading I looked over at my Dad, tears welling in my eyes and he smiled. "That’s great" he said. My Dad is not an overly emotional person so translated that means, "I really love it". I was instantly glad for the experience to share what I wanted to say when he was gone. Yes, one day I will read it at his funeral but the likelihood like so many I see in my job as a funeral celebrant my grief will overcome me and I will barely get the words out. To share this with him now while he is still here beside me was suddenly incredibly special. Over my years as a celebrant I have collected together so many readings, poems and pieces of music suitable for a Father’s funeral. I would like to share a few of them here with you now. For more please visit my website's RESOURCES page, where I have put together readings, poetry and music for every type of occasion.

A Boy and His Dad A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip- There is a glorious fellowship! Father and son and the open sky And the white clouds lazily drifting by, And the laughing stream as it runs along With the clicking reel like a martial song, And the father teaching the youngster gay How to land a fish in the sportsman's way. I fancy I hear them talking there In an open boat, and the speech is fair; And the boy is learning the ways of men From the finest man in his youthful ken. Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare With the gentle father who's with him there. And the greatest mind of the human race Not for one minute could take his place. Which is happier, man or boy? The soul of the father is steeped in joy, For he's finding out, to his heart's delight, That his son is fit for the future fight. He is learning the glorious depths of him, And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim, And he shall discover, when night comes on How close he has grown to his little son. A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip- Oh, I envy them, as I see them there Under the sky in the open air, For out of the old, old long-ago Come the summer days that I used to know, When I learned life's truths from my father's lips As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips- Builders of life's companionship! -Edgar A Guest

DIY Tradesmen, be beggared! They make too much hay By charging for things I could do in a day There’s no greater pleasure or stuff you can buy Than spending the effort on straight DIY It might be a building – or just a small shelf The best ones are made when you Do it yourself And even on TV, you hear what they say That pure DIY is in our DNA Don’t get me a permit – there’s no need for that And when a kind neighbour drops in for a chat They’ll give you a hand, or a bit of advice Or sit on the sideline and say “That Looks nice” I’ll give most things a go, though at times it is tough With plumbing and wiring and roofing and stuff, But that’s just the point, it’s the do-er in me That loves a big challenge. It’s fun, and it’s free! “As good as a bought one” is how it turns out The pros can go packing when I am about There’s a huge satisfaction in things DIYed… I’d do my own funeral if I hadn’t died. By Norm Murray

Mr. Fixit Hands covered in grime, lost all track of time Tools in a heap on the floor And for sure we all knew as he loosened each screw That this bloke was enjoying the chore He would be in no doubt when the insides were out What was needed to make the thing work In his own quiet way he would soon save the day And he’d finish it off with a smirk For repairs you require just some No.8 wire And maybe some tricks of the trade Or a new one of these, or a good bit of that And with luck you will soon have it made But, alas for our mate, more repairs are too late For his mending has come to a halt Here’s the end of the tale of this Good kiwi male ‘cos he’s tightened his last nut and bolt

His Journey's Just Begun Don't think of him as gone away his journey's just begun, life holds so many facets this earth is only one. Just think of him as resting from the sorrows and the tears in a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years. Think how he must be wishing that we could know today how nothing but our sadness can really pass away. And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched... for nothing loved is ever lost and he was loved so much. Ellen Brenneman

With Father’s Day just around the corner I know for many it can be a painful time for one reason or another. I was reminded of this earlier today as I read my blog to my partner Craig. I could see the pain in his eyes threatening to overwhelm him as he was reminded of the intense pain of a Father dearly missed. For those without their Dad this Father’s Day for whatever reason I wish you healing and comfort. If you need my services, advice or help please don’t hesitate to contact me acelebrantcalledkate@gmail.com or call me 0447 463 415

Kate x